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Best Online Tax Software for 2023

Andrew Martins
Staff Writer
| Updated
Jan 11, 2023

Tax software can help you meet compliance requirements and get bigger refunds. We analyzed dozens of companies to find the best tax software for small business.

Best Overall
Foolproof user interface
Built for accuracy
Non-traditional income supported
Best for Self-Employed Filers
Can import past returns
Finds deductions and credits
Upfront pricing
Best Free Software
Offers $100K accuracy guarantee
Completely web browser-based
Free tax return inspection
Best for Tax Professionals
Complete tax data at all levels
Planning tools for clients
Simpler tax return archiving
Tax software can help you meet compliance requirements and get bigger refunds. We analyzed dozens of companies to find the best tax software for small business.

One of your most important responsibilities as a small business owner is keeping on top of your company’s taxes. Using a good online tax software solution, you can quickly and accurately file your small business’s taxes quarterly or annually. The best options have intuitive interfaces, comprehensive filing systems and affordable plans.

We examined nearly two dozen online tax solutions and selected four from that initial list. From free small business solutions to high-end software for tax preparation professionals, there’s an online tax solution that fits your small business’s needs and budget.

How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.

Compare Our Best Picks

 Intuit TurboTaxH&R BlockTaxActDrake Tax
Price$120$105$110Starts at $330 (plus $22 per additional return)
State taxes included in price?No; $50 per stateNo; $45 per stateNo; Starts at $30 per stateYes; all state taxes included
Mobile friendly? Yes; Android and iOSYes; Android and iOSYes; TaxAct Express supports Android and iOSNo; SaaS solution only
Professional assistance offered?Yes; unlimited tax advice and final review with CPA or Enrolled AgentYes; online and in-personNoNo

Our Reviews

Intuit TurboTax: Best Overall Tax Software

Offering packages for small business owners who want to file their own taxes or get help from a CPA over the internet, Intuit’s TurboTax is the overall best tax software for small businesses, because it gives its users the tools they need to file properly.

While it costs slightly more than similar software in this category, TurboTax’s features and excellent customer service make it the best online tax filing solution. For instance, business owners using the highest-tier service can search for industry-specific deductions, and the software manages employee tax forms.

TurboTax is available for download or online use, and it is compatible with mobile devices, so you can check your return status when you’re on the go. Should you be hit with an audit, TurboTax offers specialized support to make the process less painful.

Read Intuit TurboTax Review

H&R Block: Best Tax Software for Self-Employed Filers

H&R Block is the cheapest federal tax filing solution for self-employed folks. You can import previous returns from other tax preparers like TurboTax, TaxAct and Credit Karma. Though it offers several plans, freelancers and entrepreneurs will be best served with the company’s Self-Employed Online package, which helps you find business deductions, write off startup costs, and fill out forms like a Schedule C.

Unlike some of its competitors, H&R Block discloses its prices upfront. If you want a tax professional to check and sign your return, however, you need to select the highest tier.

TaxAct: Best Free Tax Software

TaxAct is the best free online tax filing solution because it gives you easy access to the entire tax-filing process – including state tax filing. Users switching from TurboTax or H&R Block can import previous 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ forms. While it lacks the sophisticated features of paid programs, TaxAct still has helpful features, such as step-by-step guidance, a deep glossary of tax terms and a free inspection of your return.

Drake Tax: Best Software for Tax Professionals

Through SecureFilePro, your clients can safely fill out and send important tax documents online.
Drake Tax supports a wide range of tax situations.
This software is for seasoned tax professionals who can understand its complex functions.

Touting its ability to “speed you through every step of preparing a return,” Drake Tax allows tax professionals to move data between federal, state and city tax returns, or to override those features when needed.
The program’s tools help tax professionals plan and analyze a client’s taxes, using a dedicated built-in planner and year-to-year comparison. Drake Tax also helps you create a version of your clients’ returns for archiving to make future tax decisions easier.


Online tax software vendors offer several plans with tiered pricing. Each higher tier offers more features with a higher price tag as a result. When choosing which tax software solution is right for you, compare each vendor’s price and weigh it against the features your small business needs. The more advanced the features, the higher the price. Specifically, you can expect to find services that range from a free option up to $120.

If you’re looking for free or very inexpensive tax software, temper your expectations. Many such tax software solutions cut corners or hold back on essential features like state tax filing or some of the more complex tax forms that come with running a small business. These solutions may be effective at simply filing your taxes, and if that’s enough, that’s great news. Otherwise, you want to avoid choosing a filing software simply because of its price.

Key takeaway: Pricing will vary, depending on the service and the complexity of your return.


When choosing a tax software program that meets your small business’s needs, pay close attention to the features it offers. The following are some of the main features you should consider when hunting for your company’s online tax software solution:

Ease of Use

Regardless of how many features your company intends to take advantage of, if you can’t easily navigate and interact with an online tax solution, you won’t complete your tax return on time.

Most online tax systems are intuitive once you get used to the user interface, but it never hurts to take advantage of free trials before you buy. If the solution’s website doesn’t immediately advertise a free trial, ask for one.

If a free trial isn’t available, that should sound alarm bells in your head. The U.S. tax code is already confusing without an unintuitive online tax solution adding to the complexity.

Filing and Disbursement Options

Filing your small business’s taxes can sometimes require multiple forms, depending on the type of income you received over the year. It’s imperative, then, that any tax software program you choose supports the types of forms you need to file. Many tax software solutions list the forms they support on their websites.

You should also consider state taxes, which must be filed at the same time as your federal taxes. Make sure the vendor you select helps you file taxes in your state, but keep in mind that this will likely cost extra.

Decide how you want to receive your tax refund. Some online tax software solutions offer numerous ways to get your money to you, including direct deposit, a deposit to your PayPal account, or a physical check. Some programs only provide refunds in unconventional ways like gift cards and prefilled debit cards. If that is too restrictive, choose another program.

Deductions and Options

There are countless deductions and credits nestled deep within the U.S. tax code, and finding all of the ones that apply to your small business can be challenging. A good online tax software solution maintains a database of credits and deductions to compare your tax filing against. Most companies have a built-in accuracy check and offer an accuracy guarantee. Speak with a company representative to find out how the tax software utilizes a database to find deductions and credits.

Hardware Compatibility

Make sure the online tax solution you’re considering will work on whatever device you intend to use to file your taxes. For instance, if you’re a PC user, it won’t help you if the application only works on Apple’s web browser, Safari. If you intend to use a mobile device, you want to make sure the app can be downloaded from the applicable app store. The more flexible a tax solution is with its supported platforms, the better it is for you as a user.

Professional Help

Some online tax software vendors offer their users access to professional help from in-house CPAs or other tax professionals to check your business’s return. This check can be a once-over just before final submission, while other times, you have access to a professional on-demand to help you through the entire process. (However, if this option is offered, check if this is included in the price of the software or if it’s offered as a separate add-on that carries an extra fee.)

Key takeaway: When evaluating the best online tax solution for your business, weigh your small business’s needs against what a vendor offers at each price point. Take advantage of free trials, and use the opportunity to evaluate how easy the program is to use, what the options are for filing your taxes and getting a refund, how the software pinpoints deductions and credits, and how compatible the software is with your current hardware.

How to Find the Right Tax Solution for Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you need to make sure that the solution you choose supports all the tax forms you need to file quarterly or yearly. Failing to completely report your business’s finances can lead to major repercussions from the federal government, including tax liens on your property, massive tax debt penalties and even the eventual shutdown of your business.

You also want to ensure it can handle your state tax needs, since we’ve found some solutions in our research that only support certain states.

We encourage you to read our reviews and conduct your own research, including downloading several free trials to evaluate if the software fits your tax situation.

Key takeaway: When it comes to choosing the right online tax solution, you need to find one that supports all the tax forms you need to file with the IRS as well as your state tax forms.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

While all tax software on the market complies with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it’s important to know what this legislation entails. Signed into law by President Donald Trump back in December 2017, the bill allows some entrepreneurs to take advantage of the law’s 20% deductions. The deduction is available for qualified business owners at the head of pass-through organizations, such as sole proprietorships, S corporations and partnerships.

Some caveats were put in place at the bill’s passage. Depending on if you’re filing as a single or married person, what kind of business you run, and how much income you make, you may or may not be able to claim the 20% deduction. Other deductions were removed or altered, so the tax software you select should be able to walk you through these new rules. [Read related article: How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affects Small Businesses]

Key takeaway: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offers significant deductions for pass-through businesses. All major tax software is up-to-date with this legislation.

How to Find Free Tax Filing Software

If you have any experience trying to file your personal taxes for free, you likely had a hard time finding a service that was actually free. It may seem like that kind of free service obfuscation was by design, and you’d be right. Lobbying groups have spent decades making it harder for the average person or small business owner to file their taxes. Even though the IRS announced its own free tax filing solution earlier this year, that doesn’t mean that it will make it easier to file your taxes for free with the tax software companies.

Key among these issues is that most major tax software companies hide their actual free services behind some web design and advertising smoke and mirrors. When looking for a company’s free solution, be wary of any instance where you’re upsold on basic filing functionality. Since these companies are required to have free filing functionality as part of their previous agreement with the U.S. government, here are three free file pages that you can use if you are eligible:

These are just some of the free pages available out there. If you’re looking to use a free service, be sure that it’s free at the end of the process.

Key takeaway: Tax filing companies have long fought to keep the IRS from allowing taxpayers to file their taxes for free, but you can now file with the IRS directly.

Tax Software FAQs

How soon can you file your federal income tax return?

Earlier is generally better. As soon as you have all relevant documentation in hand, you can file with the IRS. Employers have until the end of the year to send out their W-2s. Most other tax forms will go out during this time as well.

What happens if you miss the deadline to file taxes?

The deadline to file your state and federal tax return is April 15, 2023, for nearly every individual and business in the country, though some exceptions exist. It’s important to file your taxes on time. If you know that you won’t be able to make the original deadline, you can always file for an extension, but only as a preemptive measure. If you are granted an extension, you will have until Oct. 15 to file.

If you fail to meet the deadline and owe the IRS money, you could be charged with a failure-to-file penalty. You can incur this penalty even if you pay taxes but fail to pay everything that you owe. According to the IRS, the penalty is “usually 5% of the tax owed for each month, or part of a month that your federal return is late, up to a maximum of 25%.” Once you’re over 60 days late, the minimum penalty for a late filing is either $210 or 100% of the tax you owe, whichever is the smaller amount.

If you fail to pay your taxes on time, the IRS will charge a failure-to-pay penalty that’s half of 1% of the unpaid taxes due. While that may not seem like much, that penalty compounds.

If you fail to file but are owed a refund from the government, the consequences become far less dire. The IRS does not levy any penalties against taxpayers who file late and are owed money from the IRS. Taxpayers have a three-year grace period to claim their tax refund, though if they miss that deadline, the money will go to the U.S. Treasury.

Which tax filing software is the best?

Through our review process, we determined that Intuit TurboTax is the best overall online tax filing software on the market. Its extensive features and easy-to-use interface, coupled with the ability to get remote help from a CPA, make it a strong solution for most individuals and small businesses. With excellent customer service to guide users through the tax filing process, TurboTax sets itself above its competitors.

What is the easiest tax software to use?

H&R Block’s online software for self-employed filers is incredibly easy to use. Self-employed individuals already have a lot on their plates, so the fact that H&R Block’s software makes filing taxes easier is a huge boon.

You can import tax returns from other platforms you used in previous years to speed up data input. Self-employed taxpayers who sign up for the company’s Self-Employed package can use the software to find each relevant business tax deduction (and other beneficial rules) that lower their tax burden while increasing their potential tax return.

The software’s interface is easy to navigate, and unlike some of its competitors, H&R Block lists its tax filing costs upfront, giving you an idea of how much the service will cost. The service also gives its users access to professional help, though that service costs extra.

Why would you use tax preparation software?

There are many reasons why business owners use tax preparation software ‒ speed and accuracy are the two major factors. With tax software, data input is as easy as scanning an existing form for the relevant information to be automatically added into the appropriate fields. What would take hours to complete by hand takes just minutes with a computer or mobile device.

As for the accuracy factor, errors or omissions can be detrimental to a taxpayer. Such mistakes can lead to audits, fines and other injunctions, like levies against your assets. Tax software checks your filing for errors before sending your documents to the IRS. Most tax software also checks for deductions or credits that apply to your tax situation, potentially increasing the amount you receive in a return.

Should I hire a tax professional?

Whether you hire a professional like a CPA or a tax preparer to handle your small business’s taxes depends on a wide range of factors. No two business’ tax situations are the same – the decision should ultimately come down to the complexity and filing status of your company.

Your business’s tax filing process is very different from filing your personal taxes. While most individuals file a simple 1040, businesses require complex tax forms that vary, depending on the structure of the business. Your personal life also plays a major part in your business’s filing needs, as important life situations like your marital status, number of dependents and any income from a different state all matter.

Ultimately, whether you hire a professional comes down to time and money. If you can afford it and don’t think you have enough time to run your business and still file on time, you should hire a pro. Similarly, if you’re worried that you may improperly file your business taxes, risking your own money and your business because of costly errors, hire a tax professional.

Ready to decide which tax software is right for your business? Here are more resources for you to consider before making your decision:

Community Expert Insights

We interviewed several small business owners to see which tax software solutions they rely on each year, and what they like and don’t like about the tax solutions they’ve used.

For Expense Reduction Group CEO Michael Hammelburger, the answer is a resounding call of support for TurboTax, despite the service’s higher costs.

“[TurboTax is] perfect for small and medium-sized businesses because it guarantees coverage on any gaps in your tax return, plus the filing process becomes much easier and faster,” Hamelburger said. “It also offers insights on what deductions should be made so that we can optimize the profit that we can get.”

Max Harland, CEO of Dentaly, echoed Hammelburger’s sentiment in favor of Intuit TurboTax, stating that “its price is definitely worth the service it provides.”

“My go-to online tax software is TurboTax, which is the best option for my needs as a small business owner,” he said. “Using TurboTax is cheaper than hiring an accounting service or a professional to do the job.”

Another vendor that received acclaim from small business owners was H&R Block, which we named as our best option for self-employed filers. Mark Condon, CEO and founder of Shotkit, relies on H&R Block because of its “powerful, user-friendly online tax preparation option.”

“H&R Block’s filing plan is most suitable for people with simple tax situations, including those who qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “It is also set up to support filers with capital gains or losses, self-employment income, interest and ordinary dividend income, and rental property income. It also allows you to store or access past-year returns.”

Key takeaway: When it comes to what small business owners wanted in an online tax solution, ease of use and functionality were among the most important aspects.

Our Methodology

To determine the best online tax software for small businesses and different use cases in 2023, we spent dozens of hours researching the top providers. Here is an explanation of our research process and the criteria we used to determine which solutions are the best online tax software.

locating the best services

Locating the Best Services

To choose the best online tax software for businesses, we started with a list of the reputable tax software companies we were already familiar with. We expanded this list to include companies we found in our research, including some from other online review lists, customer feedback and Better Business Bureau ratings. We then eliminated tax software vendors that cater solely to individual taxpayers rather than business owners.

choosing the best service

Choosing the Best Services

Of the initial set of tax companies on our list for consideration, 17 made the initial cut: Avalara AvaTax, BNA Corporate Tax Analyzer, Ceridian, Drake Tax, Halon Tax, H&R Block, Intuit TurboTax, Liberty Tax, Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE, Power Tax, ProtaxLink, Sigma Tax Pro, TaxAct, UltimateTax, UltraTax, uTax and Vertex SMB. Most of these tax companies were selected for their viability as the best online tax service for a specific use case, though some fit multiple situations.

researching each service

Researching Each Service

We then researched each finalist thoroughly. We dug into each vendor’s features, watched online tutorials and how-to videos, and tested products when demos were available. Customer ratings with the Better Business Bureau also played a role, as they gave us insight into real customer experiences with the software. We then narrowed down the field to a handful of finalists in each category to determine the best tax services.

analyzing each service

Deciding Our Best Picks

When the time came to select a best pick for each use case, we looked at several factors. We determined our best picks for online tax software based on features, pricing, ease of use, tax preparation features, tax return disbursement options, filing options and access to tax preparation.

Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins
Staff Writer
Andrew Martins has written more than 300 articles for and Business News Daily focused on the tools and services that small businesses and entrepreneurs need to succeed. Andrew writes about office hardware such as digital copiers, multifunctional printers and wide format printers, as well as critical technology services like live chat and online fax. Andrew has a long history in publishing, having been named a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner.
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